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Jack Stryker took two bullets in the leg in Vietnam and was carried back by one of his men. When he returns he tries to live a peaceful life in his cabin and resume dating his girlfriend, Sally. Meanwhile, a vicious cult let by Sam Raimi, who believes he is Jesus Christ, has been slaughtering people and doing blood sacrifices. When Stryker finds Sally gone, and her grandfather, Otis, used as a human dartboard, Stryker brings together his army buddies, gives them a stash of guns from under his bed, destroy an outhouse, and create a war zone not unlike Vietnam to destroy the evil cult. Written by
Scott Hutchins <email@example.com>
"Never touch the sacrificial fluids...okey dokey?"
"Stryker's War", a.k.a. "Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except", is solidly amusing low budget action nonsense that definitely delivers in the laughs department. In fact, it's silly enough for one to believe the filmmakers had their tongues firmly in their cheeks. It's admittedly rather rough, in both the acting and technical departments, but this adds to the appeal if you totally dig wild and wacky B cinema. From a story co-credited to Bruce Campbell, and a screenplay co-written by Scott Spiegel, Josh Becker directs this goofy fun flick that takes place in 1969, after young man Jack Stryker (Brian Schulz) has returned from Vietnam after an honourable discharge. He's soon visited by his wartime comrades, played by Robert Rickman, John Manfredi, and Timothy Patrick Quill. It's a good thing they're around, as soon Jack will go to war with a Manson Family type cult led by an absolutely priceless Sam Raimi in a hilarious hippie wig, after the cult murders Jack's good friend Otis (Perry Mallette) and abducts his old girlfriend Sally (Cheryl Hausen). While this remains agreeable viewing throughout, it might require patience on the part of some viewers to stick it out through the first half before we finally start getting to the really good stuff, with a lot of hysterical gore and sadism. These cult members are going to get what's coming to them, and THEN some. One can see that this is a labour of love for the filmmaking family including such talents as Raimi, Spiegel, Becker, and Campbell (the last having also worked in the sound department). Raimi's actor brother Ted also turns up as the goon wielding the chain. Clocking in at a reasonable 83 minutes, "Stryker's War" makes for good enough entertainment, no matter if it's not a particularly good film. It earns points more for its heart than anything else. There always is something appealing about watching something made on a low budget by people just wanting to make a movie and have some fun. Seven out of 10.
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